Techventure 2012 Singapore
Over the years, this canvas has taken the brunt of my opinions. Plus the influence built through years of publishing works out. Helps me meet super cool people. And get invites to fab events like these.
Techventure 2012, presented by the National Research Foundation (NRF), co-presented by Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (SVCA) and organised by Asiasons Group opened this morning.
The theme of this year’s conference, “Asian.Innovation.Renaissance”, highlights the economic transformation of Asia and the opportunities for businesses to capitalise on this growth through technological innovation, with Singapore as a springboard into the region.
Professor David Llewelyn
Singapore Management University
School of Law
Citi Ventures Asia-Pacific
Dave McClure : Founder, 500 start-ups.
What are the sectors he is bullish about? Hear this> He views family, education, school, – these sectors to be a large market opportunity.
(Bang on! Sectors that The Whiz Times is addressing! And we started because of a pure personal need felt. There was a huge gap, a practical need, someone needed to fill that. And we just started off!)
So Oh My God! The first panel I attend, has two influential people already talking about the sector we have been in, that we have been trying to build upon, for the last 7 months! I should have spent lesser time building my product, honing my content and stepping out to do some networking. But again, matters of heart. I prefer building a good product first.
Summary of the panel- message for Western start-ups coming to Asia: Be courageous, adaptable and flexible
Track A : The Quest in Asia for Innovative / Entrepreneurial Talents
Over 6,000 startups have been venture funded in Asia since 2005. From incubators to start-up accelerators, hack-a-thons, competitions, capital, social acceptance, role models and mentors ~ Asia’s start-up ecosystem is exploding. How does the ASEAN region cultivate the “Age of Entrepreneurs”? What are the advantages for tech start-ups in the region and what are the challenges? Does Asia have sufficient talent to fuel its innovation growth? Where are these people to be found and how can they be engaged?
How to find and engage them?
Head of Products & Strategy
Head, South Asia Investments
JAFCO Investment (Asia Pacific) Ltd
Some key problems that investors (on the panel) saw with start-ups were
- Scaling up issues: (Deepinder from New Sigma): ” some start-ups have good ideas, good teams, good product- but they lack the ability to scale up the product and to make it commercially viable. “
- Lack of dreaming big: Murli from South Asia investments/ JAFCO investments: Hi tech is not the only sector, take any sector. But dream big.
- Early stage mentoring lacks: George from 500 start-ups: “Everyone should mentor a start-up and probably invest 5k in the start-up. Pick one start-up and just do it “
- There is a gap in funding ecosystem in Asia. Firstly because of less risk tolerance in Asia. Second- capital needs returns. And the returns are not there. Very few companies have made hundreds of millions in the Asian space via M&As and exits
- An entrepreneur needs to be inspired by their product, rather than beyond looking for an exit. Are they willing to stay the course?
- Are entrepreneurs solving their own problem? That is the most powerful signal that there was a gap.
Bigger than all the hype around mobile, social, big-data- is reaching out to a clear niche, addressing a problem and executing a great product. Rest everything is just a medium.